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Google bar on the web taking on unified styling, borrowing from mobile

In an effort to unify its design across the web and mobile, Google is taking on a bit of a redesign of the well-known "Google bar" at the top of many Google web properties. Gone is the (rather ugly) black bar that has propagated across its pages, replaced by a simple new button and slightly different display of your Google+ profile.

That button, which looks like a grid of boxes and follows the same design as Android and Chrome OS, is a one-click access to every Google app you interact with. Youtube, Search, Gmail, Drive, Google Play and more are all displayed in a drop-down box called the "app launcher" that quickly lets you switch between Google properties.

The changes are subtle but should help bring a more cohesive feel across apps on your mobile devices and their web components on your desktop — the black bar on the web simply felt out of place before. The new design is expected to roll out to everyone in the next few weeks.

Source: Google Search Blog

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • That sounds a lot better! Glad they're changing it. Posted via Android Central App
  • Just got the change now. Bigger icons in the drop-down box make it much easier to find what you're after. Also Google Search now has links at the top to gmail and images. Not sure whether these links are adaptive to where you usually do your searches.
  • I'm all for streamlining UIs, and for making things quicker for the user, but now we need 2 clicks when before we just needed 1... They kind of did the same with Youtube, for example now you need to make 3 clicks to change the resolution of a video, it used to be just 2.
    Looks better though.
  • It isn't up for me.
  • I've had this for weeks, probably due to using Chrome beta. The old black bar is still there in Maps, though.
  • Oh google, I hate what they did with youtube comments and video setting.
  • I really dont understand what is so special about this......unless you are on a google property those functions are not available ergo whats the point? E.G. Im here at AC, and if i wanted to access any google app via the new setting i would first have to go to a goog web page in order for that to load......they should have made it a chrome extension or similar. +pascalwb, I agree. The people that changed utub should be fired
  • No change yet here, but I'll be looking out for it now that I know! From your screenshot, I think it looks good.
  • Still got the black bar on Firefox.
  • oh my gawddd, kittens!!!
  • Now if only we could customize which icons/links show up first, we'd have a winner
  • I have not received the updated UI yet, but I am glad that Google is pushing mobile UI. With the decline of the pc and rise of mobile it only makes sense that it should be treated with the 3x3 app drawer. Now all they have to do is change the app drawer on Android from 2x3 in a circle to 3x3.